Welcome to Profile of the Week! We are delighted to present Dallas Nyberg from Cowra, Australia.

Dallas creates photorealistic art using a variety of media, such as acrylics, colored pencils, pyrography and more. He has also shared a wealth of handy art tips here on The Art Colony, on subjects ranging from airbrushing to selling your art, and more.

To see more of Dallas' artwork, visit his gallery: http://community.art-is-fun.com/photo/photo/listForContributor?scre...

When you view his portfolio, be sure to click on the images to view them larger!

Please join us for this interview with Dallas:

How would you describe your art?

I have never really categorized which style my art is. I would guess realism/photo-realistic would be close to what I am striving to achieve. I am a self-confessed detail freak.

I do not have any particular subject that I specialize in. If it interests me, I give it a go. I particularly like doing commissions. Every so often, someone will ask me to do a painting of a subject I had never considered doing before. I rarely knock them back, as I love the challenge of something new to create.

How long have you been an artist and how did you become an artist?

Just like many fellow artists, I have been creating art of some kind for as long as I can remember. I never really considered myself as an artist during my childhood or teenage years. It wasn't until my early twenties that I heard someone actually refer to me as an artist.

There were very few artists in the area I lived in back then, so I had no local artists to learn from or to be inspired by. Art at school was, basically, only about the history of it. There were no art classes, as such, taught in the schools I attended.

Fortunately, one day in High School, a wonderful teacher by the name of Mrs. Prince happened to see some of my sketches and was so impressed with my efforts, she took it upon herself to tutor me in art theory and technique. If it wasn't for her, I doubt I would be still doing it today.

My early "serious" artwork was created using either graphite pencil or pen and ink. I can recall getting into trouble in class, when I would be caught doing a sketch in the back of my school book. I remember being caned for it at one time... talk about suffering for your art!

After leaving school, my artwork seemed to me like some sort of "party trick" that I did to try to impress my friends. It was very frustrating.

I started painting with oils in my mid-twenties and it really fired up the artist in me. It all seemed to start to kick in from there. That was, until I decided to join an art group to hone my fledgling skills with oils. The instructor there looked at one of my paintings and said... "Well... you are no artist, your paintings are too detailed... too busy... you are nothing more than an illustrator". I was shattered, all my dreams of being a competent artist were snuffed out in a flash. For several years after that, I rarely drew a picture let alone paint anything.

It was an article about the death of the great Norman Rockwell that woke me up. The article's heading read: "Norman Rockwell - the World's most famous illustrator".... I knew that Rockwell painted, primarily, on canvas. He was only termed an illustrator because of his affiliation with the publishing companies that used his artwork. I then realised what the term "pigeon-holing" meant.

I then got back into my art, more determined than ever before.

What is your favorite medium and why?

I've tried just about all of them over the years, all with varying success. Obviously drawing is the base to creating any of my art. I love using oils, but found the slow drying time somewhat frustrating to me, so I switched to acrylics. Now, nearly all my paintings are done using them.

Over the years I have also added colored pencil, gouache, pigmented ink and pyrography to the variety of mediums I use.

I also learned how to create pictorial leather carvings along the way and was fortunate enough to be invited to exhibit two of my leather pictures at the 10th Leather Forum exhibition in Tokyo in 1993.

At every opportunity I read books on art technique, constantly trying to improve my skills. Even today, I still read art books, watch art instructional DVDs and search the Internet for more information. I really believe you never stop learning.

What are some of the challenges in working in your preferred medium?

The two main grievances most people have using acrylics are the fast drying time and color change when it's dry.

The fast drying time can be now slowed by using a retarder and the color change is overcome by observing previous results and noting them.

The early acrylics were pretty average and not very user-friendly.

Acrylics of today are now far more advanced and a few years ago I bought some acrylics made by Createx. I loved them and will now use nothing else. Their new Wicked acrylics range is used for all my paintings. They are wonderful to airbrush or hand-brush with and can be reduced to a high degree without losing the integrity of the color. The golden rule... Use the best to do your best.

Pick one work of art from your Art Colony portfolio and tell us the story behind it. Why does this piece have meaning to you? What steps did you take to create the piece?

I guess it would have to be the Blue Winged Kookaburra painting (shown right). This started out as a "simple painting to be done on a small canvas" idea. It eventually ended up as a large, fully detailed, bird study. Many hours were spent painting the feathers alone... They were done one at a time. The bird in the painting is over three feet high from beak tip to tail, so I had to constantly keep the perspective in check. I learned a great deal while painting it. I learned how to get the best results on canvas using the acrylics and how to do fine detail using the airbrush.

I studied many photographs of kookaburras taken from all different angles and even had samples of their feathers on-hand for reference.

The final satisfaction came when the painting won the People's Choice art award at the Lachlan Region Art Awards. People around the region now knew who I was and what I did. I have never had a quiet day since. I now do a lot of commissioned work.

Tell us about one medium, technique or style that you would like to try working with (that you have not tried before) and why you would like to try this.

Possibly, sculpting clay or wood carving. I have a couple of friends who do this kind of art and it intrigues me no end. Finding the time to learn it is the problem.

I would like to sculpt my kookaburra in clay one day or carve it out of wood.

How do you make time for art?

At the present time, I teach computer skills at a local Community Center. Because of this, I usually only have the nights or weekends to work on my art. I have become so busy with my art that I have decided to retire from the computer classes at the end of the year and concentrate totally on my art. I will, however, probably teach an art class or two, every now and then.

If you could imagine the “perfect art day” for yourself, what would it be like?

That's easy --- No phone calls and no visitors dropping by for a chat.

If you could spend 24 hours with one artist, living or historical, who would you want to spend the day with and why? What would the two of you do?

That's easy as well... Norman Rockwell. There is no other artist's work that has intrigued or inspired me as much as his has. He could tell an entire story in one painting. I would love to be with him for a day so I could learn how to master this storytelling technique. I would like to paint a picture of him teaching me. It would be a perfect day for creating another "illustration".

** If you're curious how Dallas created these pieces, check out his discussions in the Works in Progress Forum, where he shows the steps he took to create his beautiful art!

Here are some links to a few of Dallas' WIPs:

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Replies to This Discussion

Very nice Dallas!  Congrats, you definitely deserve this!

Dallas congratulations, I very much enjoyed reading about you  and your art.  I really love your art, I love the detail in each one, your art is the kind I want to strive toward, but I am in my very first art class so it may take a minute  ha ha or life time!  Beautiful work

Thank You, Pat.... It is web sites like this one... and the great people on it.... that keeps my creative spirit going.. Cheers

Pat said:

Very nice Dallas!  Congrats, you definitely deserve this!


Thank You, Diana... If you can dream it, you can do it...  every day, every art piece, is a learning step... it never ends... Cheers
Diana Colt said:

Dallas congratulations, I very much enjoyed reading about you  and your art.  I really love your art, I love the detail in each one, your art is the kind I want to strive toward, but I am in my very first art class so it may take a minute  ha ha or life time!  Beautiful work

dallas, I loved reading about your journey into the art world. I admire your work and your tips on this cite. of course if you didn't focus on details, we couldn't enjoy your illustrations.  teachers are phenomenal folks; they give often w/o recognition or appreciation. sadly, there are a few who will stomp on your dreams and call it help. too often we remember them and  allow them to influence us. boy am I glad you rediscovered your love of details...again, love your work; loved this profile. 

Whoa!!!!  You have just blown me away!!!!!  INCREDIBLE work!

great interview Dallas! not only am i an admirer of your artwork, but also the selfless way you you pitch in and help less experienced artists here on TAC! you are an inspiration my friend! :o)

Thank You, Dee... Yep.. I've had my share of critics over the years, I have had a nice share of appreciation as well. There is no pleasing everyone... I am very fortunate to have a very supportive partner, without her support, I would probably not be still creating artwork...  Cheers

dee harris said:

dallas, I loved reading about your journey into the art world. I admire your work and your tips on this cite. of course if you didn't focus on details, we couldn't enjoy your illustrations.  teachers are phenomenal folks; they give often w/o recognition or appreciation. sadly, there are a few who will stomp on your dreams and call it help. too often we remember them and  allow them to influence us. boy am I glad you rediscovered your love of details...again, love your work; loved this profile. 

Thank You, Michael... An old artist friend of mine once told me... "If you didn't invent it, then it's not yours to keep.. if you learn it and love it, then teach someone else how it's done". Art has been a great journey for me....Forever creating, constantly learning.. Cheers.

Michael Beckett said:

great interview Dallas! not only am i an admirer of your artwork, but also the selfless way you you pitch in and help less experienced artists here on TAC! you are an inspiration my friend! :o)

Fantastic work and very interesting interview  !! Love your art and wisdom. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.xx

Thank You, Raven (that is a cool name!)...

Raven Amadeo-Vittone said:

Whoa!!!!  You have just blown me away!!!!!  INCREDIBLE work!


Thank You, Sharon... Sharing and caring.. that is what life is all about.. Cheers
sharon oppenheimer said:

Fantastic work and very interesting interview  !! Love your art and wisdom. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.xx

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